Currently the IRS is sending notices to anyone who did a Roth Recharacterization in 2010 asking them to pay as though they kept the entire conversion amount.
Tax credits are much more valuable than tax deductions. Deductions only reduce the amount you are taxed on. One dollar of deduction might only be worth 35 cents. In contrast, tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax bill. And a refundable tax credit could mean the government will owe you money you never paid in the first place.